Shimla ZP accuses govt of sitting on its grant since Feb

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 12

Shimla Zila Parishad has accused the state government of sitting on its grant issued by the 15th Finance Commission.

Alleging that the state government has not disbursed even a penny to the Zila Parishad since it was elected in February this year, Shimla ZP chairperson Chandra Prabha Negi threatened to launch an agitation if the grant was not released soon. "We have sent several memorandums to the government in this regard but nothing has come out of it. If the government continues to disregard our genuine demand, we will have no option left but to launch an agitation," said Negi.

Unable to complete work

We have made commitments to people on the assumption that will get Rs 20 lakh. How can we do the any of the promised work if we don't get our share of the grant? —Monita Chauhan, ZP member

She further said that every time they ask for the grant to be released, the officials say records have not been updated yet. "Why has it not been updated? If there's some problem in the system, then it's the government's fault," she said, adding that the grant has not been disbursed to any ZP in the state.

She further said that each ZP member gets around Rs 20 lakh from the grant. "Considering every ZP member represents 15-20 panchayats, the amount is miniscule. To make the institute and its members more productive, the state government must also provide funds from the state budget. The previous Congress government did give some grant to the ZPs from the state budget," she said.

Kaushal Mungta, ZP member from Saraswati Nagar, said the government was deliberately trying to weaken the crucial Panchayati Raj institution. "ZP member have already sent proposals of their proposed work to the Panchayati Raj Department. Yet, they are not releasing money on one pretext or the other. It clearly indicates that the government doesn't want this institute to flourish," said Mungta.

Monita Chauhan, another ZP member, says it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to face people in their wards. "We have made commitments to people on the assumption that would get Rs 20 lakh. We haven't received any budget yet, but people keep reminding us about our commitments. How can we do any of the promised work if we don't get our share of the grant?" said Monita Chauhan.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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